Knicks 94, Heat 106. Series over. Season over. Carmelo took 31 shots and scored 35 points. In 35 minutes off the bench, JR Smith amazingly shot 3-of-15, had zero rebounds, zero assists, zero steals and zero blocks. He did have two turnovers. (Afterward, he took to twitter and responded to all the NY fans who hammered him for the performance.)
Anyway, let’s briefly talk about next season:
1) Mike Woodson inexplicably played Steve Novak just 12 minutes in game five. The “best shooter in the NBA” who led the league in 3-point shooting (47 percent) was 4-of-7 from deep in the series. Miami defended him well, but that’s a horrendous job by Woodson. Anyway, if Phil Jackson and John Calipari say no (and neither seems interested at this time, anyway), my vote is for Stan Van Gundy.
2) According to this chart, the Knicks have decisions to make about the following players who were at one point in the rotation: Baron Davis, Mike Bibby, Jared Jefferies, Steve Novak, Bill Walker, Landry Fields, Jeremy Lin. In order of importance – Lin, Novak, Jefferies. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the others didn’t return. The emergence of Shumpert makes Fields less important. Baron’s career might be over. Mike Bibby turns 34 next week.
3) JR Smith can opt-out and try to make more money elsewhere, which is probably what will happen. New York simply can’t afford him and Lin and Novak. The Knicks need Smith’s offensive punch off the bench, but they probably can’t afford him.
4) Free Agency: Ha. That’s funny. Like they have any cap room. I’d try to move Amare, but good luck with that. Moving him to the bench and a 6th man role makes sense. A starting lineup of Lin, Shumpert, a 3-point shooting small forward (Novak?), Melo and Chandler work for you?
5) NBA draft: No first round pick. In the 2nd round, the move would probably be to get a point guard to back up Lin, a shooting guard, or a power forward (Amare will get hurt again). Just a few names of players who could be around in the 2nd round (48th): Kansas PG Tyshawn Taylor, Baylor PF Quincy Acy, Missouri SG Kim English, Missouri PF Ricardo Ratliffe, Wesley Witherspoon, SF, Memphis.
6) Keep Isiah Thomas away from the franchise. Please.